If I had to pick my favorite desserts, the humble chocolate chip cookie would definitely be in my top five. I'm not too picky either -- I have been known to grab the sad looking chocolate chip cookies that always seem to appear on the dessert trays at work meetings. However, I do know a good chocolate chip cookie when I find one. Recently, my husband and I stumbled upon Jacques Torres' chocolate outpost in Tribeca and along with the requisite Wicked Hot Chocolate (hot chocolate with a touch of spice) we had the most amazing chocolate chip cookie in recent memory. It was gigantic (one was plenty for both of us) and was just oozing with chocolate; you even have the option of getting it warmed up by the staff! A recent NY Times article that made waves in the food blog world mentioned Jacques Torres' secret to the oozing chocolate in this cookies -- he uses chocolate disks, which are larger than chips, that create a layer of chocolate in his cookies.
Baking chocolate chip cookies at home is always a tricky proposition. Most of the recipes I had tried in the past were all similar to the well known Toll House version -- they were tasty but all turn out too thin and crispy; nothing at all like the thick, chewy chocolate chip cookies that I enjoy from bakeries. I hit the jackpot when I found this recipe, which is my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe (at least until I try the NY Times recipe). It is the only recipe I have tried that results in thick, chewy cookies rather than thin crisp disks. The recipe even includes a brilliant method for getting large cookies with beautiful nooks and crannies -- you roll a 1/2 cup of the dough in your hands, pull it apart in half, and then place the halves on the baking sheet with the torn portion facing up. The one key change I made to the recipe is to use light brown pourable sugar rather than regular brown sugar. The one time I tried this recipe with regular brown sugar, the dough was too moist and the cookies came out too thin and crispy. These cookies may not be quite on the Jacques Torres level, but they are pretty darn good.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 cup plus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
12 Tbsp (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, melted & cooled until warm
1 cup light brown pourable sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. Whisk dry ingredients (except sugar) together; set aside. Mix butter & sugars until thoroughly combined. Beat in egg, yolk and vanilla until combined. Add dry ingredients & beat at just until combined. Stir in chips.
3. Roll scant ½ cup dough into ball. Holding dough ball in fingertips of both hands, pull into 2 equal halves. Rotate halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, place formed dough onto cookie sheet, leaving ample room between each ball.
4. Bake until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft & puffy (about 18 - 20 minutes). Cool cookies on sheets until able to lift without breaking.
Makes 18 or so large cookies.